You’ve heard the phrase “Show, don’t tell” before, but you may not know what it means or how it can be implemented. Let’s start by breaking it down! “Show, don’t tell” is a technique used in writing that allows the reader to experience the story through actions, words, thoughts, senses and feelings rather than through the author’s exposition, summarization and description. In the realm of PR and marketing, it is vital as Los Angeles publicists, writers and communicators that we apply the “Show, don’t tell” methodology in our work (pitches, press releases, content creation and more) so that everything we produce resonates and creates a deeper connection with whoever is reading it. With this in mind, here are a few tips to make your writing more interesting and effective:
Engage Your 5 Senses
Use your senses of smell, taste, sight, touch and sound to draw out descriptive ways to talk about the product or service and give the reader the opportunity to really experience it through words. Try using sensory language that incorporates several senses, not just sight.
- Bad Example: Lenny & Larry’s new Complete Crunchy Cookies are loud and delicious.
- “Show, not tell” Example from our food and beverage PR agency: Lenny & Larry’s new Complete Crunchy Cookies are a crackling explosion in your mouth, deliciously spiced with cinnamon and a hint of sugar for a warm and welcoming flavor that’ll have you thinking of those first days of fall.
Be Specific and Detailed
Specificity will fill in the gaps of your storytelling and bring life to your scenes. Use adjectives and adverbs to create the story, but be careful in choosing the right words and using them sparingly to convey meaning. Additionally, remember to be detailed in your description of people, places, experiences and things to capture the reader’s attention and keep them engaged.
Making comparisons is another way to evoke a feeling that is relatable to the reader. Metaphorical language can create a sense of action and movement in the audience’s mind and provide an image of the setting.
- “Show, not tell” Example: Tech Will Save Us’ Light Racer Kit give kids the incredible superpower of elecromagnetic light — It’s so brilliantly bright that you’ll need your sunglasses ?
Now, it’s your turn! Instead of saying “Mark is a great leader,” how would you use the “Show, don’t tell” technique to describe Mark in a different way?
Look forward to reading what you’ve got!